Steps to green communications

Because of global warming, environmental responsibility is everyone’s business — and it is every organization’s business as well!

Why go green?

Besides being the right thing to do, it is now expected. For example, over 60% of all Fortune 1000 companies publish a corporate social responsibility report. If your board members are not taking an interest in these issues — they may be soon!

Here are some easy steps to greener communications:

Paper Choices:Recycle symbol

  • Recycled paper: It is now available in equivalent quality and finishes as standard paper, so switching is easy. First, look for the recycled logo. Next to the recycled logo should be numbers like these: 50/35PCW. This tells you that 50% of the paper content is recycled, and 35% is from paper that has been in circulation, such as used newspapers. Your graphic designer can advise you on tradeoffs between high recycled content and paper characteristics, such as brightness and smoothness.
Forest Stewardship Council logo
  • Paper sources: Here’s another logo to look for: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. This certifies the forests that are the source for the paper are managed in a sustainable way — in other words, the paper company is not chopping down ancient redwood trees to manufacture your sheet! For more information, visit

To calculate the environmental impact of your paper choices, visit: the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator

Printing Choices:

  • Efficent sheet use: Printing projects are typically printed on larger sheets and then trimmed to size. Ask your designer to verify that the project size uses the printing sheet efficiently, with minimal space wasted. At LevinsonBlock, we do this routinely because it saves our clients money. Another way to avoid wasting paper is to gang up different jobs on the same sheet.
  • Vegetable ink: Printing ink is petroleum based, which emit chemicals that damage the atmosphere. And, of course, we are running out of oil. Vegetable based inks use less oil — ask your designer if they are appropriate for your project.
  • Printing methods: Toner based printing such as Indigo has the least impact on the environment, since it uses no ink. However, there are quality tradeoffs and it is not appropriate for all projects.

After you’ve followed these steps, don’t be afraid to let your stakeholders know you are a green organization! If you would like more information on green practices, email us here and we’ll send you an informative PDF.



The name for Oz in the “Wizard of Oz” was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence “Oz.”